How do you set up a training plan?
Training is a learning process both for your mind and your body (anyone who thinks they can separate them is wrong). Learning theory is pretty well established and basically it says that short sessions and lots of them is the most efficient way to learn anything. Good training is how much time is spent perfecting each element of every technique; this should consume about 75% of your learning time.
Practice should take about 20% of your learning time and is defined as simulating match conditions as closely as possible, but being able to stop in the middle of or at the end of a series of shots, making an adjustment to come closer to the perfect technique, and then repeating the series or continuing as needed. You’ll notice that there is 5% left – and that is the time spent at the actual matches.
Three sessions a week for about 3-4 hours per session is a pretty heavy training load, but it is about what is required on the range for anyone looking to become an elite shooter. Alternate days should be spent in physical or mental “training” to maintain good physical condition or increase strength, and/or to work on visualization techniques.
One important aspect not commonly recognized is to schedule uninterrupted time and concentrate on a single element. New studies show that if you try to learn more than one thing in a day, your learning efficiency goes down! It seems that it takes the mind/body combo some significant time to integrate what it is trying to learn. So, when you “train”, chose one element of the technique, focus on it, work to perform it perfectly and try not to do anything else in that session. Then take a day off.